Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The problem with baldness is men always think they are too young for it.

Most people have the perception that men do not care how they look. That we can go to work with scraggly hair, stubborn stubbles and minute pieces of last night's dinner plastered to our face akin to a murder victim's cadaver displayed until the police's body trace.

Well, mostly we don't.

The masculine gene in us allow us to nonchalantly display a basketball-size gout as pure animal sexiness. Or the more couragious of us would even defy good hygiene and go to office without taking a bath for days. Just because.

A lion can not be tamed.

And yet mention a slight hint of bald patch, we go on panic mode. Our miserable life would pass right before our very eyes.

The very gene that allows us to let go of any amount of shame because as men we feel we can get away with anything is the very gene that causes us to wince at the mere mention of an expanding forehead.

Thus the very desperate attempt to hide it.

There is the carpet look where some of us would grow hair longer on one side and sweep it to the other side to cover a shiny middle. Put ample amount of gel to cement the architectural masterpiece. Nice idea, but fuck the superior being who invented wind.

Then there is the more common wig. The funny thing about wigs is that the men who wear them does not seem to have an idea about historical continuity--or deny it. How then can you slap a thick patch of straight hair on your noggin when you have been curly all your life? What do you want the rest of us say about this?

Uhm, there is a horse tail on top of your head, where's the rest of its body?

Ah, creative things we do to hide a shiny spot. If we can only grow grass on top, the only question coming out of our mouth would then be: How many times a day?

The problem with baldness is we always associate it with growing old or worse growing less appealing. Having it would mean we are on the decline side of the success curve.

Lately though there had been gradual change of perception. If there is one thing I am grateful for, I am glad the hair waited long enough to witness great celebrities strutting their bald plate before wilting.

I am glad that Michael Jordan came before me. He was at his athletic best when he sported the bare dome look. This Bruce Willis dude also grew sexier as the hair go thinner. Even the wig model of his generation Sean Connery who sported a patch while playing James Bond has embraced his true self.

Imagine if I would have lived in the time of the great Bembol Roco?

So as I slowly face my inevitable shiny destiny I am forced to make an important decision and so I have: No mirrors around the house!
Shine on shine just does not make it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Labsong Writer

There are great questions out there that are better left hanging much like the chicken and the egg debate. Like who tops Kris Aquino as the most irritating TV personality? Or to a person who is at the proverbial crossroads of his sexual path, to be or not to be? Or better yet to a struggling singer trying to impress the bitchy judge who himself is a poor imitation of Simon Cowell, to birit or not to birit?

But some questions, we can answer more easily. In fact, to some more passionately.

In this regard, the question I drown myself into more frequently is who is today's best Filipino songwriter?

First there is Ely Buendia who was the main songwriter of arguably the most influential band that ever came out of Filipino radio. He spawned the seminal hits Alapaap, Ang Huling El Bimbo and Magasin. He is the master of narrative songwriting, wrapping you with the stories of friendship, love and yes, of that lady who looked like Paraluman. Sadly, the band caved in under its own grand ambition. But he is still pushing the envelope with his new band Pupil.

Second, there is Rico Blanco who was the main songwriter of the consistently critically acclaimed rivermaya. The band in itself evolved with a few members gone and replaced but Blanco was clearly the sole driving force of the band. He concocted the hits Himala, You'll be safe here and Kisapmata. He has since left the band to pursue his own music. Now a solo artist, he is still able to feel the pulse of the masses with hits like Your Universe and Antukin, 2009's NU Song of the Year.

Last is the guy who used to be the face of rivermaya. Bamboo was never known as a songwriter in his Maya days but with his own band, ehem, Bamboo, he surprised most of us with his anthemic Noypi and Hallelujah. Scourging through their albums though, one could sense that the band is equally comfortable with soft jazz/reggae numbers. Plus, his looks mesmerized a thousand of collegialas thus helping push the band's albums to record sales. Personally, I feel there is much more to be desired in his songwriting. But that is a matter of personal opinion that is disagreed to by the number of fans who are passionate about the band's music.

Pinoy rock today has never been parched with talented composers. Among the most notable are Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree, Gabe Alipe of urbandub and Barbie Almalbis. Of course there is the oft-overlooked but absolutely sublime Cynthia Alexander. Each has his or her own strength from which to draw from, creating tales about love and life delivered in the blistering sound of the almighty amplified guitar. (Or in the wistful strums of the acoustic guitar.) Altogether wrapping us in bittersweet ecstacy. Ah, such is the story of the eternal romantic Juan.

Altogether, Pinoy rock has never been in a better place. A slew of new bands and artists crop up on TV and radio every now and then hoping to catch the ever fleeting attention of Juan. Thus these same artists try to top each other with better materials much like Bob Dylan did to the Beatles and the Beatles to Bob Dyland and the Beach Boys.

The uphill fight against piracy notwithstanding, Juan comes out the ultimate winner as he becomes richly immersed in different takes and perspective on the greatest subject of all: Kris Aquino este, love.